Seed Of Inspiration

The fruitful Ph.D. - a tough but fun ride of Macarena Farcuh

Macarena Farcuh is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is developing a research program focused on improving fruit quality, nutritional value, shelf-life capacity, safety and consumer satisfaction from preharvest to postharvest ripening, using multidisciplinary approaches. The purpose of the program is to contribute new knowledge to the scientific community and at the same time transfer this generated knowledge to fruit growers and stakeholders through extension and education programs.


Dr. Farcuh and fresh produces!
Dr. Farcuh and fresh produces!


During her Ph.D. in Horticulture and Agronomy at UC Davis, Macarena used a Systems Biology approach to dissect plum fruit quality-related pathways, with an emphasis in sugar metabolism and hormone balance throughout ripening on-the-tree and postharvest storage. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of her research, she had to interact with diverse faculty throughout campus.

The best part of being in Horticulture and Agronomy at UC Davis?Dr. Farcuh recalled her friendship and support network established with the amazing grad students from all over the world that were part of our graduate group. These friendships were definitely a key factor for successfully completing her PhD.

Several tips Dr. Farcuh wants to pass along to current and prospective student include:

  1. Believe in yourself and find support in your family and friends!
  2. Give yourself time for breaks (not everything can be work, and it's always nice to travel around!)
  3. Do not fear speaking up for what you feel is not correct. Be proactive, show initiative and get out of your comfort zone.

And most importantly, HAVE FUN! A Ph.D. is a tough ride but if you have the passion and commitment nobody can prevent you from being fruitful and successful! Follow Dr. Farcuh Twitter @FarcuhMacarena and Linkedin to learn more about her current research.

Starting from October 2019, we began featuring our alumni from Horticulture and Agronomy graduate group at UC Davis in the section “Student Experience: Seed of Inspiration”. If we were to compare a graduate school experience to seed developmental process, throughout the journey, their mentors, colleagues and friends have been helping prepare our students, the developing seeds, for adventures away from mother plants. Once graduated, our students then became ripened seeds, ready to grow independently and inspire others!

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